The Double Play

A poem by Robert Wallace about the artisty that is the Double Play in baseball.

In his sea lit
distance, the pitcher winding
like a clock about to chime comes down with

the ball, hit
sharply, under the artificial
banks of arc-lights, bounds like a vanishing string

over the green
to the shortstop magically
scoop to his right whirling above his invisible

in the dust redirects
its flight to the running poised second baseman

leaping, above the slide, to throw
from mid-air, across the coloured tightened interval,

to the leaning-
out first baseman ends the dance
drawing it disappearing into his long brown glove

stretches.  What
is too swift for deception
is final, lost, among the loosened figures

jogging off the field
(the pitcher walks), casual
in the space where the poem has happened.

Robert Wallace
“The Double Play”

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